Guest Post by Oscar S.
Last Sunday we lost another friend. Caio Lhennysson da Silva, 18, was found dead on a farm. He was half-naked; his mouth was full of sand and his body was showing signs of strangulation. He didn’t do anything to deserve that. He wasn’t involved with any criminal activity. He was a happy, beautiful teenager. What made him different from many people is that he was openly gay and androgynous.
He was loved by many people, but died without mercy. Every year, here in Brazil, more than 250 people die on gay-hate related crimes. I must say… I am afraid. I am afraid someone I know will be the next – Caio was a good friend of a friend of mine. I am afraid next time it could be a friend of mine, my best friend, maybe the boy I like, or even me. Today I am mourning over a stranger’s death. I mourn 250 times a year. It is ironic that the word “gay” also means happy…
On the other hand, there is some happy news. Finally homosexual civil unions are recognized here in Brazil. Now we have a lot of rights that make us a bit more equal to straight couples. There is still a lot to fight to, but it was a small victory among all our problems.
Guest Post by Oscar S.
São Paulo, Brazil. A few days ago two boys who met online, one 13, the other 18, skipped school to go to the movies. It was a date. Watching the film they cuddled, shared their popcorn and a cup of coke. After the movie, they sat in the cinema café. They hugged and eventually they kissed.
Then hell broke lose, changing their lives forever.
The lady at the popcorn machine was shocked. She called the manager. He called the mall security. They called the police. What happened then can only be described as one of the most bizarre convictions on sex assault ever. The older boy was ARRESTED for alleged RAPE.. He was sent to a cell with very real criminals. Not people who gave an innocent kiss, but robbers, murderers and the like. Jails here in Brazil are not like the prisons in the USA or Europe. They are overcrowded, dirty and dangerous.
Law in Brazil is pretty clear – if someone gets into a libidinous act with someone who is under the age of 14, it is RAPE. Works pretty well to put real paedophiles into jail. But when a kiss becomes rape there is a misinterpretation of the law. And there is something else: Images of the older boy showed that he didn’t even look like 18. This was a pure act of homophobia. If they would have been a straight couple–nothing would have happened. If it was a 13 year old boy issuing an 18 year old girl he would get a high-five.
The boy was released Saturday night. His name on the news is now reduced to his first letter (it wasn’t before). He might face 14 years jail for rape. Hopefully he will be free, but he is probably traumatized for life. He is making a university prep course with 140 students on his class. He will now have to face his family, colleagues, school mates and people in his neighbourhood. He will have to face homophobes. The same applies to the younger boy. And everyone knows what happened. And all this because two boys sneaked out of school for a movie, some popcorn and a kiss. Two boys are marked for life.